Fri 18 Jm2 1435 - 18 April 2014
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Will the prayers of one who drinks alcohol not be accepted for forty days?

Is the report narrated from the Messenger of Allaah Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which says that whoever drinks alcohol, his prayers will not be accepted for a period of forty days, saheeh?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

Yes, there are many saheeh ahaadeeth concerning the punishment for one who drinks alcohol, which say that his prayers will not be accepted for forty days. This was narrated from ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas, Ibn ‘Abbaas, Ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Amr. 

See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 709, 2039, 2695, 1854. 

One of these ahaadeeth was narrated by Ibn Maajah (3377) from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever drinks alcohol and gets drunk, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days and if he dies he will go to Hell. But if he repents, Allaah will accept his repentance. If he again drinks alcohol and gets drunk, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days and if he dies he will go to Hell. But if he repents, Allaah will accept his repentance. If he again drinks alcohol and gets drunk, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days and if he dies he will go to Hell. But if he repents, Allaah will accept his repentance. If he commits (this sin) again, then Allaah pledges to make him drink the mud of khabaal on the Day of Resurrection.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, what is the mud of khabaal?” He said, “The juices of the people of Hell.” 

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah

The fact that his prayers are not accepted does not mean that they are not valid, or that he should give up praying, rather it means that he will not be rewarded for them. 

So the benefit of praying will be that he will have discharged his duty and will not be punished for not doing it. 

Abu ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mandah said: The words “his prayer will not be accepted” mean that he will not be rewarded for his prayer for forty days, as a punishment for his drinking alcohol, just as they say that the one who speaks on Friday when the imam is delivering the khutbah should pray Jumu’ah but there is no Jumu’ah for him, meaning that he will not be given the reward for Jumu’ah as a punishment for his sin. 

Ta’zeem Qadr al- Salaah, 2/587, 588. See also question no. 20037

Al-Nawawi said: 

With regard to his prayer not being accepted, what this means is that he will not be rewarded for it, even though it is valid in the sense that he has discharged his duty and does not need to repeat it. End quote. 

No doubt the person who drinks alcohol still has to perform the prayers on time. If he were to delay any of his prayers, he would be committing a grave major sin, which is worse than the sin of drinking alcohol. 

This punishment for drinking alcohol applies to the one who does not repent. But if he repents to Allaah and turns to Him, He will accept his repentance and accept his good deeds, as it says in the hadeeth quoted above: “… but if he repents, Allaah will accept his repentance.” And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The one who repents from sin is like one who did not commit sin.” Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 4250; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah

And Allaah knows best.

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